Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Anti-Flag on Jimmy Kimmel

Justin's the one in black in the middle.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Justin Sane - a good UU kid

After shopping at the East End Food Co-op, I had to pick up some things at Whole Foods for Claymama and was so glad I did. I actually bumped into political punk band Anti-Flag's lead singer, Justin Sane. He was incredibly nice (just like when a friend and I chatted him up after a show at Club Laga years ago). We talked about their performance of "This Is The End For You My Friend" on Jimmy Kimmel last week and the little change they made in the lyrics at the end of the song to dis the "Pontiac Summer Stage Concert Series" thing. He said the folks on the show got really pissed at the band later (after they realized what had happened).

We talked about the new album, For Blood And Empire (it's AMAZING - go BUY IT NOW!!!), which is their first for a major label and all the craziness/judgment that has accompanied that. We also talked about our experiences with the Unitiarian Universalist church. He told me he used to go to Summer Institute (my family goes now) and he would love to go again but is too busy in the summer touring. He attended the UU sexuality class for children and youth, Our Whole Lives (I'm an OWL instructor - coincidentally I taught it with the mother of Anti-Flag's first guitarist, Andy). I confessed when I am a teacher at church of a disgruntled looking punk teenager, I have often pointed out that Justin and Pat Thetic (Anti-Flag's drummer) are/were UU's. That is like credibility in a can to those kids and often makes the fact that their parents dragged them to "some lame church" WAY more palatable. He laughed and gave his blessing to continue using that. He said that UU Youth Conventions probably saved his life and that his best friends are ones he made at those gatherings.

It was actually a rather brief (less than 5 minute) conversation, but I'm really glad I saw him. A good UU kid who is living out the 7 Principles - and pissing off corporate america as he does it. Go Justin!

World Party

Brian & Vivian had gone to see World Party Fri night in Cleveland and told me it was a great show. I went Sun. Night here in Pgh by myself. It was kind of weird to see Karl Wallinger playing to such a small crowd (under 200). It was a great show, lots of new songs (only two from the first record). I had been warned that Karl was looking a little chubby. The guy had a freakin' aneurysm a few years ago and had to go through rehab & such. I couldn't help but think about the first time I saw them. It was probably 87 at the Phantasy Theater in Cleveland (Lakewood, actually). It was in support of the first album. I think Trent Reznor's awful Exotic Birds band opened (I could be wrong on that one).

When I tried to evaluate how Karl looked compared to the last time I saw him I couldn't help but think - "If he remembered how I looked 19 years ago he'd probably think I wasn't looking too good now either - and I didn't have a brain aneurysm".


So with claymama working overtime all weekend I took Caz1996 and Ruby2001 to my dad's in Ohio. We got to have a cookout with our friends Brian & Viv (w/Andrew & Brandon) and Bruce & Kathy (w/Calvin & Eden). It was just so great getting to visit with them. Brian started his own design business a few months ago and things are going better than expected there. Farmer Bruce is finishing his apprenticeship, got an education job in Medina and Kathy is writing pretty much every article in the West Side Leader.

We got to visit with Bruce & Kathy (and our old friend Sue) at Crown Point Farm and got the tour. What a very cool place!

I had promised claymama that I would get her Luigi's Pizza since it is SO much better than any pizza in Pittsburgh. After everyone left Sat. night, I called for takeout and took Caz1996 with me. He didn't remember going previously and was very impressed. It was actually pretty dead (11:00 or so on a Sat night!?!) We ended up sitting down and having a couple of pieces while listening to our songs on the jukebox (Beatles, Stevie Wonder).

I think Caz1996 came away with a better opinion of Akron and even said he DEFINITELY wants to go to the Lebron James Bike-A-Thon thing next June. At some point he'll admit he likes Lebron James. Right now I think he's still too stubborn.

The Gimme Curse

So Me First & The Gimme Gimmes (the greatest cover band in the world) somehow got a gig for three nights playing during fireworks at PNC Park (the greatest baseball stadium in the world) after games by Houston Astros versus the host Pittsburgh Pirates (the worst baseball team in the league).

Apparently the first night (Thursday) didn't work out so well as they got booed off the stage during their opening number "Stairway to Heaven". They should have opened with "Rocket Man" or "Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard" (way better songs - originals AND Gimme Gimme versions).

The Pirates PR folks asked them to cancel the next two scheduled nights and what happened? - The Pirates lost the rest of the THREE games to Houston Astros.